The law defines certain maximum penalties depending on the class of offense, aggravating factors, and whether the person has prior convictions. However, just because there is a potential maximum penalty, that doesn’t mean that the maximum is likely or even realistically possible. For misdemeanors that aren’t sex offenses, DUIs, and domestic offenses, most maximum penalties will either be one year in jail, six months in jail, ninety days in jail, or a fine. (Read more in the practice areas section about the potential penalties for a specific offense.) However, unless you have an extensive criminal record or there are other considerable aggravating circumstances, the most likely penalty for a conviction will be an unsupervised probation, typically for one, two, or three years, with appropriate terms and fines. If you are ordered to serve jail time on a misdemeanor, you get two credits for every one day served, and you can arrange to serve your sentence by doing “work release” where you do work for the Sheriff in the morning and you leave to go home at the end of the day. If your jail sentence is over sixty days but under 365 days, you are frequently eligible, depending on the offense, to serve your sentence by doing home electronic monitoring. Felonies are sentenced differently than misdemeanors, and the rules are too complicated to include in a simple answer. For low-level felonies, a typical sentence for someone who has a minimal criminal record with no other major aggravating circumstances is a local jail sentence and a supervised felony probation for a minimum of three years. For more serious felonies, the penalty can include state prison time.